Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region (RQHR) residents will now have access to lung testing in more urban and rural locations through a new mobile community testing program. This will help with the early detection, treatment, self-management and rehabilitation of conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
COPD is a lung condition that includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Previously, most lung function testing occurred in hospital.
Going to appointments at the Pulmonary Function Lab is difficult for me. I have several health issues. By the time I walk from the parking lot to my appointment, I’m exhausted. Being able to access the same services in the community is awesome.” – Deanna Litzenberger, patient advisor with Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) 91
To date, community testing rates are up. This collaboration with family physicians in the RQHR has resulted in 285 people tested in the first half of 2016-17 compared with 209 for all of 2015-16. The RQHR is improving its referral process too, so people will have more options for where they get their tests.
This community testing is important because, according to The Lung Association Saskatchewan, one in five Canadians – six million adults and children – have a respiratory problem such as COPD.